Posted by: niedermaier22 | September 14, 2012

Another Woman “Breaking the Rules”

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/08/18/spotlight-hugs-danica-patrick-but-she-is-not-alone-among-female-drivers/

Hey everyone! I meant to post this on Monday, but was having technical difficulties. I remember talking in class on Thursday about women who are “breaking the rules” in society. I gave an example of the first female quarterback on a high school football in Florida who may be “breaking the rules” because she is a female playing a “male” sport. Well, I went to the NASCAR race this weekend, and I began to wonder if Danica Patrick, a female race car driver, may be seen as a woman who is “breaking the rules” and how she sees herself in this male-dominated sport. I found this article that discusses where she sees herself. Something that really struck me was that she basically talked about the “labyrinth.” She mentioned that as females we have to “work our way up” and “climb the ladder.” She uses the phrase “climb the ladder,” but that makes me think of the “labyrinth” where women will hit obstacles, but it is possible to get to where we want to be. She believes that there will be more women race car drivers in the future. The article that I found discussing societies perception of her talked a lot about her appearance and how her popularity came from her being an attractive woman. Well from what I saw on Friday night, the male drivers did not take it easy on her. Maybe they do not see her as a woman “breaking the rules.” Maybe they see her as just another race car driver.

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Responses

  1. Danica does deserve credit for making her way in a male-dominated sport, and I’m sure taking a lot of backlash for it along the way. She has challenged the gender roles in that way. It’s interesting to compare this context with women who navigate the labyrinth in politics or business. However, Danica also has played into some typical gender stereotypes and also the objectification of women along her journey. The numerous poses she has struck, stretched out sexily on her car, etc., have fed into the media portrayal of women – and in this case competent women – as objects for pleasure rather than solely successful and desirable based on their accomplishments. This contrast begs the question: Is she a good role model for young women?


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